Shay Mikalonis: Shot Las Vegas Police Officer Paralyzed from the Neck Down

Shay Mikalonis paralyzed

Twitter Shay Mikalonis

Shay Mikalonis, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer who was left in a critical condition after being shot at a George Floyd protest, is paralyzed from the neck down and remains on a ventilator.

The Las Vegas Police posted new updates about Mikalonis’ condition on June 13 to their official Twitter account:

The update confirmed Mikalonis was unable to speak but “is awake and seems to recognize his family members.”

The original update was shared by Mikalonis’ family after the IOPF Pray for Shay Day fundraiser held on June 12. His family thanked the public for the outpouring of prayers and support:

Shay is on a ventilator and will remain so. He is also paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak. Shay is awake and seems to recognize his family members. We can’t thank the staff of caring professionals at UMC [enough] for getting him this far, truly a miracle!

Because of the life saving work and care he received, Shay has tentatively been accepted to one of the best spine rehabilitation centers in the country. There are many factors that come into play here and I will release the name of the center when the time is right. We are anticipating that Shay will be moving on in his long journey ahead.

Here’s what you need to know:

Mikalonis Was Shot in the Head at a Protest Outside Circus Circus Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard

Mikalonis, 29, has been with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Convention Center area command since 2016. He remains in the hospital at the Las Vegas University Medical Center after being shot in the head outside Circus Circus Casino on June 1.

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, the incident occurred when additional officers arrived on scene to respond to a group of rioters throwing rocks and bottles at a Black Lives Matter protest. Shots were fired while police were taking someone into custody and hit Mikalonis, who was later transported to University Medical Center and placed on life support.

Police said Mikalonis was shot in the back of the head in front of Circus Circus Casino by Edgar Samaniego, 20, who appeared in court in Las Vegas on June 3 in relation to the shooting, charged on one count of attempted murder and two counts of discharging a gun where a person might be endangered. Samaniego’s preliminary hearing is set for July 30.

Prosecutors and the Clark County Public Defense asked for a $1 million bond and $100,000 bail respectively, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported prosecution findings accusing Samaniego of having “fired two more shots after Mikalonis was critically wounded.”

“[The] four-year veteran of the force collapsed as the bullet pierced his spine and lodged into the right side of his face, while Samaniego walked toward a nearby Travelodge hotel, according to prosecutors …”

The shooting was the culmination of a violent day on the scene of protests in Vegas – a separate incident also occurred in the same vicinity on the South Las Vegas Boulevard, outside a federal courthouse.

New Surveillance Video of the Moment Mikalonis Was Shot Was Released

Samaniego was identified through video surveillance footage and tracked to a hotel across the street from the scene before SWAT officers took him into custody and transported him to the Clark County Detention Center.

The surveillance video was posted by 8 News Now Las Vegas.

Mikalonis’ injury was one of several following violent clashes between police and protesters across the U.S. after Floyd, a black man, died in Minneapolis police custody following an incident where he was pinned down under the knee of former police officer Derek Chauvin for more than eight minutes. The video, which has been seen around the world, can be viewed here.

8 News Now says Samaniego “was not part of the protest[s]. He happened to be staying at the nearby Travelodge and fired into the crowd hitting Mikalonis.”

Four police officers have been shot and wounded in Missouri, and reports have come in from L.A., New York, St. Louis and Wisconsin of cars running into police, cruisers being set alight, broken legs and fractured skulls.

Dave Patrick Underwood, a 53-year-old Federal Protective Service officer, was shot dead in Oakland, California, on May 29, while 13 other officers were injured on the scene.

Father of three and Moody, Alabama, Sergeant Stephen Williams, 50, was shot and killed in the line of duty at a Super 8 hotel on June 2.

Four Shreveport Louisiana police officers were suspended following the death of a black man in police custody after his arrest on April 5, and this week Garrett Rolfe, an Atlanta Police officer, was fired from the force for shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks outside a Wendy’s restaurant.

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